Is Surly Ghost Grappler A Perfect Selection? – [Surly Ghost Grappler Review]

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Surly Ghost Grappler Review

  • Price: $1,949
  • Frame: Steel
  • Tires: 650b Aluminum
  • Gear: 1 × 10

What we like about it: The steel frame, coupled with reliable components, has excellent riding ability and sturdy, reliable performance.

What we don’t like about it: There is only one color option, which may not meet the preferences of all riders.

Rating: (4.8/5)

Surly Ghost Grappler
Surly Ghost Grappler

The Surly Ghost Grappler is a versatile touring bicycle with impressive load-carrying capacity. It features a comfortable riding posture and an ergonomic handlebar, making it suitable for long-distance journeys.

In the following analysis, we will explore the riding experience, key features, components, specifications, and other versions of the Surly Ghost Grappler.

Additionally, we will compare it to several other top bicycle models in the latter part of this article. If you’re interested in more bike reviews, feel free to follow us.

Riding Experience

Surly Ghost Grappler

The Surly Ghost Grappler is a touring bicycle with a steel frame that absorbs some of the road vibrations during rides. Its ergonomic riding geometry makes it well-suited for long-distance journeys.

To put it to the test, I packed up the Surly Ghost Grappler and headed to the gravel bike racecourse at Barry-Roubaix. The terrain consisted mostly of unpaved gravel roads, along with various inclines and descents of different angles. I booked a hotel nearby using IHG and set off immediately.


The Surly Ghost Grappler provides a relatively easy and comfortable riding experience when climbing. The rigid frame offers enhanced power transfer efficiency during pedaling. Additionally, the excellent geometry allows my weight to distribute evenly between the front and rear ends of the bike, providing significant assistance during climbs.

Furthermore, the Surly Ghost Grappler features a 1×10 drivetrain, offering multiple speed options for climbing. I can simply shift to a larger freewheel to achieve lighter pedaling, conserving energy.

Lastly, I greatly appreciate the Teravail Ehline 27.5 x 2.5″ wide-grain tires, which provide excellent traction. I experienced no slippage while pedaling, and the uphill traction was even better.

In summary, the Surly Ghost Grappler’s outstanding geometry and high-quality components significantly assist me during uphill rides, reducing the expenditure of energy.


On rough gravel downhill paths, I didn’t experience significant bumps with the Surly Ghost Grappler. This can be attributed to its steel frame and wide, off-road tires, which effectively absorb ground vibrations, resulting in a comfortable riding experience on downhill sections.

Furthermore, the Tektro Mira MD-C400 mechanical disc brakes with 180mm front and 160mm rear rotors provide reliable stopping power, allowing the bike to come to a halt quickly.

Lastly, the combination of the Teravail Ehline 27.5 x 2.5″ wide tires and 27.5-inch wheel size offers a more agile handling experience during descents. This provides an advantage for maneuvering on narrow trails, and the wider tires offer improved durability, reducing the risk of punctures.

In conclusion, the Surly Ghost Grappler exhibits excellent performance both in climbing and descending on gravel surfaces. It is undoubtedly a formidable bicycle.


The Surly Ghost Grappler features a steel frame with a certain level of flex, allowing it to absorb some road vibrations and provide a more comfortable riding experience.

Furthermore, it comes in 5 frame sizes (XS-XL) to accommodate riders with heights ranging from 4’8″ to 6’8″ and above. It offers wide versatility and is suitable for riders of almost any height.

Additionally, the external cable routing design gives the frame a rugged appearance and provides simplicity and convenience for maintenance and component replacement. The drop bar design, similar to that of a road bike, offers multiple riding positions, promoting hand relaxation during long-distance rides.

Lastly, the Surly Ghost Grappler’s frame is equipped with multiple mounting holes, allowing for full-size water bottle installation and carrying additional equipment during long rides.


What do we like about it?

  • Multiple mounting holes, impressive load-carrying capacity for epic long-distance rides.
  • Integrated dropper post design ensures consistent weight distribution between climbing and riding.
  • Excellent geometry for a more upright riding posture and enhanced comfort.
  • Drop bar design with multiple hand positions to alleviate hand pressure during long-distance rides.
  • Steel frame absorbs some road vibrations, reducing ride bumpiness.
  • External cable routing design for a rugged appearance and simplified maintenance and component replacement.

What don’t we like about it?

  • Only available in one color, which may not meet the preferences of all riders.


  • What wheelset does this bike use?

The front wheelset is Novatec 15x110mm, 32h and the rear wheelset is Novatec 15x110mm, 32h.

  • Is this bike suitable for long-distance riding?

With multiple mounting holes on the frame and impressive load-carrying capacity, it is well-suited for long-distance touring.

  • How to choose the right size?

We provide a size chart for reference. However, the best way to find the most suitable size is to try it out for yourself.

Rider heightSIZE

Surly Ghost Grappler Specs


Frame100% Chromoly Steel frame, Natch tubing, double-butted main triangle, TIG welded, E.D. coated
BB Standard: BSA, 68mm, ThreadedColor: Sage Green
Fork100% Chromoly Steel fork, Natch tubing, double-butted tapered fork blades, TIG welded, E.D. coated
Bottom BracketSamox BSA 24
HeadsetCane Creek 40
StemPromax DA-296, 31.8 or Kalloy AS-007
HandlebarSalsa Cowchipper 31.8
SaddleWTB Volt 142
SeatpostTransX YSP15, 30.9, 100mm travel


Rear DerailleurMicroshift M6205
Front DerailleurN/A
CrankSamox 2PCS Boost 32t
ShiftersMicroshift SB-M100A, AdventX Dual Control Levers
ChainKMC X10 Econo Black or NP/BLK
BrakesTektro Mira MD-C400
Brake LeversAdventX Dual Control Levers


RimsWTB ST i40 TCS
Front HubNovatec 15x110mm, 32h
Rear HubNovatec 12x148mm, 32h
TiresTeravail Ehline, 27.5 x 2.5″, 60tpi
Disk RotorsTektro 180/160

Comparison Table

BicyclesClick viewWheelset specificationsFrame materialBrake TypeDrivetrain
Fuji Touring Disc LTDClick View700c AluminumAluminumTRP Spyre C Mechanical Disc3 × 9
Surly Disc TruckerClick View26″ / 700c AluminumAluminumTRP Spyre C3 × 9
Genesis Tour De Fer 10 Flat BarClick View700c AluminumAluminumPromax DSK-717RS Mechanical Disc3 × 9
Co-op ADV 1.1Click View700c AluminumAluminumTRP HY/RD3 × 10

Surly Ghost Grappler vs Fuji Touring Disc LTD

Fuji Touring Disc LTD
Fuji Touring Disc LTD

These two bikes are both steel-frame, external cable touring bicycles. However, they excel in different areas.

The Surly Ghost Grappler features a frame geometry more reminiscent of a mountain bike and rugged tires, allowing it to tackle more challenging riding conditions. The larger, grippier tires provide enhanced traction, and they are more reliable in sections that could potentially damage the tires, reducing the risk of flats.

On the other hand, the Fuji Touring Disc LTD has narrower tires and a geometry more resembling a road bike. With a higher number of gears in its drivetrain, it offers a faster riding speed and is better suited for flat road riding.

Therefore, between these two bikes, if you need to handle more challenging riding conditions, the Surly Ghost Grappler is more suitable. Meanwhile, the Fuji Touring Disc LTD offers a faster riding speed.

Surly Ghost Grappler vs Surly Disc Trucker

Surly Disc Trucker
Surly Disc Trucker

These two bikes are steel-frame touring bicycles from the same brand, but they have different focuses.

The first one features a 1×10-speed single-chainring drivetrain, offering a simpler gear-shifting experience and allowing riders to concentrate more on the ride itself. The integrated dropper post design and wide tires make it more suitable for off-road riding. Additionally, its geometry provides a more comfortable riding experience.

The second one has a 3×9 drivetrain, offering more gear options and enabling higher speeds. With a geometry that leans more towards road bikes and narrower tires, it has lower rolling resistance, allowing for faster riding speeds.

In conclusion, both of these touring bicycles are excellent options. You can choose based on your specific riding needs and the type of terrain you’ll be riding on.

Learn More: Is Surly Cross-Check Splendid? – [Surly Cross-Check Review]

Surly Ghost Grappler vs Genesis Tour De Fer 10 Flat Bar

Genesis Tour De Fer 10 Flat Bar
Genesis Tour De Fer 10 Flat Bar

Firstly, the handlebar design of the former provides better relief for hand pressure during long-distance rides. The straight handlebar design of the latter offers a more agile handling experience.

Both bikes feature steel frames, which absorb some of the vibrations on bumpy roads, resulting in a more comfortable ride.

However, the tire and dropper post design of the former makes it better suited for off-road riding and provides increased durability and reliability. The dropper post design also ensures a stable center of gravity between climbing and descending.

While the latter comes with a rack and fender design, the former has more mounting holes. In other words, it offers more space for cargo, greater load-carrying capacity, and better support for long-distance rides.

Therefore, between these two touring bikes, I would recommend the Surly Ghost Grappler. I believe it is better suited for touring rides.

Surly Ghost Grappler vs Co-op ADV 1.1

Co-op ADV 1.1
Co-op ADV 1.1

These two touring bikes are both excellent options with impressive load-carrying capabilities.

The difference lies in the fact that the former has a geometry more suitable for off-road riding, along with wider, off-road tires and a dropper post design. The latter has a geometry more akin to a road bike, coupled with a 3×10 drivetrain that enables faster riding speeds on flat surfaces.

In summary, the Surly Ghost Grappler is better suited for off-road riding, while the Co-op ADV 1.1 offers better performance for riding on flat roads. Therefore, the choice can be based on one’s specific riding conditions.


Above is my review of the Surly Ogre. In our opinion, it is a powerful touring bike capable of handling various challenging road conditions. That’s why we give it a rating of 4.8.

Of course, if you’re interested in other touring bikes, we also review a wide range of bikes with various price ranges, including some highly interesting options. Feel free to check out our other reviews.

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